Buying a Folder-Gluer: Top Three Factors to Consider

By Hani Hallal, Impack Packaging

Looking to buy a folder-gluer machine? Because of the role a folder-gluer machine plays in the production of carton and corrugated boxes, the demand for folder-gluers is growing rapidly.

That means choosing the right folder-gluer that fits a company’s needs and budget is critical. Failing to do so will not only cost the price of the folder-gluer, but also major long-term productivity and output losses.

For the last two years, I’ve researched and interviewed some of the most experienced folder-gluer experts. Recently, I met with Mario Persechino, a folder-gluer expert and instructor with more than 40 years of experience in the industry, to talk about the most important factors to consider before buying a folder-gluer.

This guide covers the top three factors Persechino said must be considered before buying a folder-gluer.

Top three factors to consider

Choosing the right folder-gluer depends on a multitude of factors that vary from company to company. However, there are three critical questions every folder-gluer owner needs to ask before buying a new folder-gluer:

  1. What are the company’s production needs?
  2. How will space be organized for the new folder-gluer?
  3. What post-purchase services are important to the company?

1. What are the company’s production needs?

A company’s needs always will be the biggest deciding factor influencing the right choice of folder-gluer model.

Although all folder-gluers can produce the 300 different box formats that exist on the market, not all folder-gluers will be able to produce at the output, speed and budget a company requires.

That is, every company’s needs are different and the choice of a folder-gluer rests on the knowledge of that.

Most company needs can be broken down into two types: volume-based needs and format-based needs.

Volume-based needs
If a company’s primary focus is to produce the same types of boxes consistently every day, that would classify the company’s needs as volume-based.

In this situation, it is recommended that companies choose more than one fully automatic folder-gluer machine and have each dedicated to a specific box material. This allows companies to produce a high volume of different box materials at the same time without having to stop or pause folder-gluer production.

Format-based needs
If a company’s projects are such that different box materials are produced for each project and it’s not likely the company will be producing a high volume of boxes for each project, the company’s needs would be classified as format-based.

In this situation, choosing a semi-automatic folder-gluer is recommended since it is more versatile and flexible, allowing companies to meet customers’ requests for different box formats.

Now that it is known what the production needs are, the second most important factor to consider is: How much space is available?

2. How will space be organized for the new folder-gluer?

Knowing that the company needs a new folder-gluer is important, but just as important is knowing how this new machine will fit on the production floor.

It’s no secret that finding good operators these days is hard, and labor shortages have become a serious problem affecting the packaging industry. Thus, if the company’s needs are volume-based, then more than one operator will be needed. In addition, packing staff (or packers) also may be needed to pack the boxes into cases after they come off the folder-gluer delivery belt.

Most companies needs for a folder-gluer can be broken down into two types: volume-based needs and format-based needs.

This is all to say that if a company is thinking about buying a new folder-gluer, consider the space on the production floor and how operators and packing staff will be moving around workstations, with respect to the folder-gluer.

I know, it sounds like a lot to consider, but the good news is that companies do not need to personally calculate all of those factors. A folder-gluer supplier should help with these considerations before companies buy. Hence, make sure a reliable folder-gluer supplier is found with whom a solid long-term partnership can be formed for after-sale needs, which this article will get to next.

Ask Impack for recommendations on folder-gluer suppliers, if in doubt. We work with small companies, medium-sized companies and some of the biggest names in the packaging industry. We know what folder-gluer brands are on the floors of the least to the most successful box manufacturers.

3. What post-purchase services are important to the company?

When evaluating different options of folder-gluers, ask suppliers about past problems they have experienced with that specific model, but, more importantly, what after-sales services they offer. The answers will speak volumes about the only thing that truly matters in those types of relationships: reliability.

The biggest cost a company will incur is not the cost of the new folder-gluer but rather the productivity loss that will be incurred as a result of the machine breaking down, failing or not being utilized to its maximum capacity.

Find a folder-gluer supplier that truly cares about the service it offers after the sale. Make sure to consider everything, from the maintenance of the folder-gluer to the installment, training and delivery services.

After all, every single machine eventually will break down, fail or come across some sort of issue. It is what a company can do to fix it and maintain it that truly matters.

Ready to buy? Choose the right one.

As can be seen, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a new folder-gluer; and it is impossible to think of everything before making the investment.

Reading this article can help those trying to make an informed and educated decision. After all, buying a folder-gluer machine is a big decision, and companies certainly
do not want to regret their purchase a few months down the line.

Hani Hallal is the marketing manager at IMPACK. To get answers to the most common folder-gluer problems, visit